20080110

Do you face book?

It's a great little internet application... if used correctly and within its purpose.
Or, are you one of those people that chase werewolves, bite zombies, hatch eggs, aquariums, gardens, secret crush links, "send this to 5 friends or your world will cave in" chain mail crap and have a collection of faces you really don't know... well, you might need to be a little careful.

Think about this from Wired this week:
Some Facebook users checking their accounts Wednesday found odd postings of messages on their "wall" from one of their friends, saying: "lol i can't believe these pics got posted.... it's going to be BADDDD when her boyfriend sees these," followed by what looks like a genuine Facebook link.

But the link leads to a fake Facebook login page hosted on a Chinese .cn domain. The fake page actually logs the victims into Facebook, but also keeps a copy of their user names and passwords.

You wouldn't even know your details were stolen because some tricky little code has also logged you back into Facebook. Ok, so that one might catch out some less than savvy users. Are you savvy? Do you add silly applications without checking them out? Maybe you have some little Facebook add-on like "someone thinks your hot" or "someone has a crush on you..."
As detailed by Fortinet, Zango is being distributed via "Secret Crush," an application that tells Facebook members that one of their friends has a crush on them and then leads users through a series of screens to find out more information. At one point, users are told that they must provide the names of five friends to continue.

Finally, Facebook members are taken to a page where they can download a "crush calculator" that's bundled with Zango's ad-serving software, which trails people as they surf the Web and serves them pop-up ads. That last page discloses that Zango will serve users ads based on the pages they visit online.

Here's my take... I've started researching these things. I added one to my Facebook and have been testing it. Some people really don't have any idea what information they're giving away for free.

As a manager of a team of developers, we've been looking closely at Facebook and developing some little Facebook applications for work which we will soon release online. Did you know that by adding just one of these little applications you'll be letting us in on a few little secrets? Oh, and we'll also know about your friends too.

11 comments:

Tom said...

I've done a little facebook app for the charity swimming I do so people can link to the sponsorship site... sadly it's so basic that I haven't been able to glean any juicy information about anyone!

Worse actually than the apps I think is that thing (I forget what they called it) which caused all sorts of hoo hah as it collects information about you from outside facebook and posts it on your facebook newsfeed without you knowing. Tom has just bid on such and such on eBay etc. So far it's only active in the US I think, but it's worth trawling through the preference pages to turn it off. (Privacy -> External websites -> Don't allow...) :)

judo said...

What an odd post, Muzbot.

First carbon footprinting and now Facebook evangelism. Very eclectic.

Christerbjorn said...

I Used to Facebook, I knew it was vulnerable to hackers. I closed my account when I opened it up one day to find that I had 237 Notices, 203 from people whom I didn't really know. It is what it is, I found deleting the crap took more time than reading the meaningful info from real friends. Facebook is what it is, you are not stupid, accept it for it's flaws or get out of there and make better use of your time.
McDreamy.

Darth Gateau said...

I'm getting tired of all that constant poking...

Muzbot said...

Tom: Little apps like yours are exactly how people benefit from this great use of the internet.

Judo: Look at the good I do.

McDreamy: My point is that it's not really Facebook that is vulnerable to hackers, it's users. I've used Facebook for ages and, to date, have not had one piece of unwanted junk from it. It's just a tool, not a pastime.

DG: So how about a slap, bite or tickle? :)

Monty said...

*Gulp*

Thanks for the useful info Muz. . . will have to be more careful methinks!

Kim said...

I feel a lot better now about my paranoia at downloading any of those programs on Facebook. And here I was just thinking it was because I am a luddite.

Kim said...

Apart from that, the concept of being poked, sending crappy little cyber gifts, having an online aquarium (wtf?) really really shits me.

Mike said...

I turned off all email notifications except for personal messages. Anyone who sends me
1. regular app spam (hotness, hug me, shower with me, fuck me sideways with I can't believe it's not butter),
2. chain letters; or
3. obviously fake notifications of missing children or hackers

gets deleted from the friend list immediately. It seems that warning people isn't enough.

I have marked a lot of the common apps as spam or blocked them so I don't even get the invites or notifications now.

Finally, I usually turn off mini/newsfeed updates for most apps.

Housekeeping issues aside, it's been a very useful tool for meeting people, staying connected with people I don't get to see that often, and learning of interesting events. Plus Scrabulous RAWKS! Ahem.

h&b said...

"Stalkbook".

I'm happy with the people I know now. If I want to catch up with an old High School person .. *i'll* stalk them, thankyouverymuch :p

h&b said...

.. and 'what Kim said' ..

i'm not very gimmickky.
Hell, I hate emails in HTML, 'blinkies' and emoticons that aren't your straightforward semi-colon-with-an-end-bracket variety.

Or perhaps i'm just old and cranky :p